Welcome to the JSCC blog!
This is a place where our members have written thoughts about life, faith, God, Christ, and the church. Take a few minuets to read some of these articles that our brothers and sisters have put together. It is our hope that they will help you to understand God better and to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
An Attitude Adjustment
Dear Mother and Dad:
It has now been three months since I left for college. I have been remiss in writing this and I am very sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. YOU ARE NOT TO READ ANY FURTHER UNLESS YOU ARE SITTING DOWN. OKAY!
Well then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out of the window of my dormitory when it caught fire shortly after my arrival are pretty well healed now. I only get those sick headaches once a day.
Fortunately the fire in the dormitory and my jump were witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the fire department and the ambulance. He also visited me at the hospital and since I had nowhere to live, because of the burned out dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It's really a basement room, but it's kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to be married. We haven't set the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show.
Yes Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the love, devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has some minor infection which prevents us from passing our pre-marital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. This will soon clear up with the penicillin injections I am taking daily.
I know you will welcome him into our family with open arms. He is kind and although not well educated, he is ambitious. Although he is of a different race and religion than ours, I know your oft expressed tolerance will not permit you to be bothered by the fact that his skin color is somewhat darker than ours. I am sure you will love him as I do.
Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not have a concussion or a skull fracture. I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged. I do not have an infection there is no man (of any color) in my life. However, I am getting a 'D' in History and an 'F' in Science and I wanted you to see those marks in the proper perspective.
Your Loving Daughter
Although this letter is comical, it illustrates perfectly how our perspective or attitude sometimes affects our outlook. If the daughter had written that she was failing History and Science, the parents would have been really upset. But when looking at the failing grades in relation to all the other issues she wrote about, the bad grades now seem insignificant. An attitude indicator is an instrument used in an aircraft to inform the pilot of the plane’s orientation in relation to the Earth’s horizon. The aircrafti is displayed as a dot on the screen. If the dot is above the horizon line (blue background), then the aircraft is nose up. If the dot is below the horizon line (brown background), then the aircraft is nose down. Assuming that horizon represents average, if we have a nose high attitude then our life is going to be above average, but if we have a nose down attitude then our life is going to be below average. Where is our attitude indicator set? Nose up or nose down? Are you willing to daily renew your mind attitude (Ephesians 4:22). Jesus said in John 16:22, that “ . . in this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” Viktor Frankel, a Holocaust survivor, said “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of ones freedom is to choose ones attitude in any circumstance.” Let’s set our attitude indicator o the same attitude and purpose which was in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).
If you were to ask people to list the top 10 sins, how would they respond? Most people would answer murder, adultery, stealing, etc. What about gossiping or telling a little white lie? I think most people would rate those near the bottom of the list, definitely not as bad as murder. In Proverbs 6:16-19, it talks about six things that God hates – seven that are detestable to him. Two of the seven have to do with our mouth: lying and gossip. God is most certainly love, but he despises the things mentioned in these verses.
In the movie "Doubt", Father Brendan Flynn, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, told this story:
A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you cut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!'
Negative talk gets us in so much trouble. Follow what’s in your heart and let’s learn to hate what God hates. Take a step of faith and God will be with you. If God says don’t do something it’s for our benefit. It’s time to start living the life Jesus died to give us. It is imperative to walk the walk and talk the talk. Gossiping and lying are meant to distract us from the glory of God. Let’s use our mouths to encourage, edify, and build up others.